Driver, store clerk charged in fatal DWI crash | The Enterprise
The Enterprise

Driver, store clerk charged in fatal DWI crash

Posted on January 8, 2022

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Drew C. Wilson | Times file photo | 252-265-7813

A Wilson teen faces a drunken driving charge, and a convenience store clerk is accused of selling him alcoholic beverages before he flipped his car in a Dec. 26 crash that claimed a passenger’s life.

N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement says 19-year-old Uriel Rodriguez Rodriguez bought malt beverages from Food Mart 1 at 6407 Ward Blvd. before he lost control of a 2008 Infiniti sedan and wrecked the car on N.C. 42 near Tucker Court east of Wilson.

Rodriguez was driving east on N.C. 42 when the car veered left of center, ran off the road to the left, struck a ditch and overturned several times around 12:48 a.m., N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper J.S. Smith previously told The Wilson Times.

Smith said the driver and two passengers — none of whom were wearing seat belts — were all ejected from the car.

Clemente Rivera Hernandez, 22, of Rocky Mount, died of his injuries at the scene. Rodriguez and 22-year-old Jose Antonio Nino-Garcia of Stantonsburg survived after receiving emergency care at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Smith said Rodriguez was traveling about 80 mph and cited speed, alcohol and failure to wear seat belts as factors in the crash.

The Highway Patrol charged Rodriguez with provisional driving while impaired and other traffic offenses, state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Erin Bean said in a Friday news release.

He also faces charges of reckless driving with wanton disregard, failure to maintain lane control, speeding in excess of 65 mph, felony fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, misdemeanor simple possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana paraphernalia and driving with no operator’s license, according to an online court calendar. It’s unclear whether all charges are related to the Dec. 26 crash.

Troopers and ALE agents conducted a joint investigation to identify the store where Rodriguez bought the drinks he consumed before the fatal crash and charged 22-year-old Shamakh Kahaled Mohamed Muharram with selling alcoholic beverages to a person under 21.

N.C. ALE is a statewide agency that enforces regulations on the sale of alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets and investigates gambling law violations.

Bean said ALE will also report the underage sale at Food Mart 1 to the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, which could fine the store or suspend or revoke its ABC permits for beer and wine sales.

The crash remains under investigation and could result in more charges, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Rodriguez is set to appear in Wilson County District Court on Feb. 16, and Muharram has a scheduled court date for March 15.

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